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First time f150 tow -any advice?

 
Old 05-06-2012, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by jcartertn View Post
I wish I could have problems pulling my cobra places. i ain't got one lol
I was thinking the same thing!
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:09 PM
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Make sure the trailers hooked up.
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Old 05-07-2012, 01:27 AM
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Caution: Wall of text filled with bad sentence structure, spelling, and grammar. Probably a few typos too.

You still have some time before your rental. Good. Call whatever number is on your reservation and tell them to make sure your trailer is a galvanized M,L,K, or possibly W model. Tell them you CANNOT use a orange D or A model. They should know what this means. If they tell you something about having to move your reservation to another store to make that happen, do it unless the store is just too far away. Different areas of the country tend to have very different inventory levels.

Assuming that your told them you are returning back to the same store, your reservation should already be set. Find out if it is a dealer (Bob's storage or whatever that rents uhauls on the side) or a corporate store. If you are renting from a dealer, check everything on the trailer. Straps (should not be frayed), chains (some light wear/rust ok), and tire pressure. If you are renting from a corporate store, still check everything but you can ask them to check the tire pressure for you (they should have a compressor). Corporate stores should also carry replacement parts so if a chain or strap is iffy, ask em to swap that **** out. Some may also have tires to swap (but won't without good reason).

A note tires: uhaul will run tread down on tires to a set limit. Just because someone thinks "its too worn" doesn't mean they are going to replace it. They have some strict guidelines and will only swap tires once they have reached the designated level of wear or have a defect. They will also not provide spare tires.

The rental itself. Whether its a dealer or a corporate store, at some point during the rental process, you should see someone handling a little paper tag with drawings of various trailers near the middle. You should be asked to inspect the trailer and mark existing damage/defects on the tag. Your tag will be yellow or green depending on whether you bought uhaul's insurance. If they try to get you to fill out either the white top copy, the white bottom copy, or try to skip this step altogether, stop the process and ask WTF. This inspection tag is important and is your first defense should uhaul claim you caused existing damage. Some dealers are very bad about skipping this step or doing it wrong. When complete, your should have at least FOUR pieces of paper. One will be the green/yellow tag you filled out (they keep the bottom white copy). Next will be a printout (this is your contract, not the inspection tag). After that is a little instruction booklet or whatever you are renting. And lastly is a "document holder" with extra T&C's that holds everything together. Expect them to help you hook the trailer to your truck. Don't expect them to help you load the car on the trailer.

Side note on the rental itself: while you may not realize it, paying with a credit/debit card will speed up your rental process and waive the deposit. On a trailer rental, they will authorize your card for exactly your expected total. If you insist on paying with cash, be prepared to pay the deposit and answer a few extra questions. In uhaul, like many other business these days, cash is not king. In the rental business, cash is a liability.

Loading the trailer. It helps to have a second person help you load the trailer. First, double check the hookup to the truck. If not seated on the ball correctly, the trailer could fly up as the car is pulled onto the ramps. Second, loosen the straps and lay them flat on the platform toward the rear of the trailer. It is also a good idea to free up the safety chains (one in the front and one in the rear) to provide easier access later on. Next, have the second person straddle the coupler as you drive the car onto the ramps. Their job is to make sure you are centered. Once the front wheels are on the platform, stop. Have the second person go to the side of the trailer near the rear the ramps. Now they can make sure the car has clearance as you pull forward. The front tires need to be up against the plates at the front of the platform where the strap ratchets are. Don't try to position the car a certain place on the trailer. Get those tires up against the plates. Let the person on the outside of the car open the door to let you out. They can see if it will clear the trailer fender, you probably can't. Use common sense in regards to wrapping the straps around the front tires and into the ratchets. The ratchets themselves have a little lateral travel so you can keep them centered on the tires. Now the chains. Where and how you attach these to the car is not near as important as the slack. The trailer has limited suspension and your car is in for a bouncy ride. If you attach the chains tightly, you risk damage to the car. Make sure there is slack in the chains.

The trailer itself. Remember, even when empty, that thing is damn heavy. Don't underestimate it. When loaded, pay attention to everything. If you don't tow often, keep this in mind about what you are doing: You are towing a tall, awkward, and likely front heavy load (that is a good thing as long as it isn't too front heavy). What's behind you may weigh nearly as much as your truck does. The trailer has a automatic surge brake. It activates as the weight of the trailer compresses the coupler. If you are driving in mountainous terrain, pull over often to check the brakes on the trailer. Every time you stop, check the straps, chains, and lights. Definitely at least check the straps on first stop. They will settle and stretch a bit. Don't try to unhook the trailer with the car loaded. You will likely break the jack and hurt someone. If you have a problem, call the roadside assistance number on your contract. Unless you did something stupid to cause the problem, this service is free. Let them fix it, especially if the problem has you on the side of a highway. You are better off living with a delay than injured or dead trying fix it yourself.

Remember, through every part of the process, safety is your top priority. Take your time, go slow, and make sure all is well. Being late is never worth someone's life. Lastly, enjoy your temporary towing gas mileage. That's gonna hurt.

Last edited by Lockman; 05-07-2012 at 01:30 AM.
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:37 AM
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thanks for the book lockman lol thats all the ****** i never cared to know but now do.
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:12 AM
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LOCKMAN, thank you very much for taking the time to type all of that. that should be a sticky somewhere for sure. again- thank you
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:53 AM
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Awesome write up Lockman.
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:56 AM
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Default If never towing before you should drive a little locally first

Great advice in this string. If you have limited towing experience I suggest towing on a short practice run first. This way you can check the straps, chains, hubs before you set out on the longer drive. It is much easier and faster to resolve any issues ahead of time and be near that U-Haul dealer if you need something.

On the post with all the detail I would just be careful about "straddle the tongue". This can be very dangerous should the hookup not be done right. Have a friend stand in the bed of the truck and look over the closed tailgate but be sure to be clear in case the tongue does fly up.

Of course a good inspection of your brakes is a great idea. On those long down hill stretches control your speed as the inertia is what will really overload the bakes. Triple your normal distance from the vehicle ahead of you. It will save fuel and brakes when you avoid excessive or hard breaking.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:53 AM
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I have tons of experience towing- but only in a E350 16 pass van pulling a 7x14 enclosed trailer fully loaded. I have not however towed with this truck yet. does anyone have tips for going down a mountain with this setup- should I stay competely away from shifting down to maintain downhill speed? and just rely on brakes? I ask since I don't know how strong the transmission is with towing. great tips so far btw- thanks to everyone that has replied.
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:03 AM
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You've read this, right?
http://www.uhaul.com/Articles/Tips/1...ound-clearance

Will definitely be a good idea to have some boards handy for loading/unloading. My 04 Cobra would scrape the front splitter if you just looked at it wrong.
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Flash! View Post
You've read this, right?
http://www.uhaul.com/Articles/Tips/1...ound-clearance

Will definitely be a good idea to have some boards handy for loading/unloading. My 04 Cobra would scrape the front splitter if you just looked at it wrong.
oh definately- had to use 2x4's to get on a rollback once as well.
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